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How Accurate Is the Hebrew Calendar?



by Jack Hines

Many churches today follow the Hebrew Calendar for setting the dates of religious holy day activities. Unfortunately, most pastors, and nearly all lay members are unaware of how this calendar is computed and the fact that it is grossly inaccurate.

The calendar of the Bible is rather complex. It is based on both the sun and the moon. This solar-lunar arrangement was established by the Creator in Genesis. "And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years" (Genesis 1:14 KJV) The word "seasons" in this text is "moed." In Hebrew it means `festivals." According to many Jewish, as well as Christian, scholars it is referring to the festival days which God has appointed.

The lack of space prohibits a detailed exposition of this subject here, but to those interested we ask that you write for our free publication, God's Calendar In The Heavens.

Our singular purpose in this brief article is to make sincere Bible students aware of the inconsistent results of the mathematically calculated Hebrew Calendar. In the following chart, we have catalogued the first and seventh months of the Biblical year for the 26-year period beginning in 1975 and ending in the year 1100.

We have marked the dates of: (1) the Astronomical New Moon [ ANM], which cannot be seen because the moon is so near the sun; (2) the date for the beginning of that month by the Hebrew Calendar dating [H-C]; and finally, (3) the date of the Visible New Moon [( ] as could be seen in Jerusalem. A quick study of this chart will reveal that the Hebrew Calendar does not consistently show either the ANM nor the Visible New Moon to be the first day of the month.

All scholars agree that al the time Jesus was on earth, the visible sighting of the New Moon was what established the beginning of each month. Jesus never questioned this God-given method.


Examination of Hebrew calendar dates 
for Nisan (Abib) one and Tishri
one (the first and seventh months) for the 
years from 1975 through 2200.

Heb-Cal.                                            Nisan

 Tishri

                                                Davs After ANM                      Days After ANM
Date ANM * 2 ANM * 1 2 3 4
3/13/75**  
9/6/75**
  H-C    (   H-C   (  
4/1/76  
9/25/76
    H-C (     H-C (  
3/20/77 
9/13/77
  H-C    ( H-C   (    
4/8/78  
10/2/78
  H-C   ( H-C   (    
3/29/79  
9/22/79
  H-C (     H-C (    
3/18/80** 
9/11/80**
    H-C (       H-C (    
4/5/81  
9/29/81
  H-C (     H-C (    
3/25/82  
9/18/82
H-C   (     H-C (    
3/15/83** 
9/8/83**
  H-C (     H-C (    
4/3/84
9/27/84
    H-C (       H-C (    
3/23/85
9/16/85
    H-C (     H-C (    
4/10/86
10/4/86
  H-C (     H-C      
3/31/87
9/24/87
    H-C (     H-C (    
3/19/88-??
9/12/88
  H-C (     H-C   (  
4/6/89
9/30/89
H-C   (     H-C     (
3/27/90
9/20/90
  H-C (     H-C   (  
3/16/91** 
9/9/91**
H-C   (     H-C   (  
4/4/92
9/28/92
  H-C (       H-C (  
3/23/93
9/16/93
H-C   (   H-C   (    
3/13/94** 
9/6/94**
  H-C (     H-C   (  
4/1/95
9/25/95
  H-C (     H-C   (  
3/21/96
9/14/96
    H-C (       H-C (  
4/8/97
9/2/97
  H-C (     H-C   (  
3/28/98
9/21/98
H-C   (     H-C   (  
3/18/99** 
9/11/99**
  H-C (       H-C (  
4/6/2000
9/30/2000
    H-C (         ( H-C

H-C=First of month according to Hebrew Calendar ( =Visible New Moon in Jerusalem.
* Astronomical New Moon- Conjunction of earth, moon, and sun.
** Month begins prior to equinox -??
Note: In the year 2000 the Hebrew Calendar places Tishri 1 after the visible new moon.

Churchlight Publishing Association




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